Woman charged in fatal Somerton crash

The suspect’s attorney says his client didn’t leave the scene of the Dec. 12 Bustleton Avenue crash that killed 82-year-old Yulia Sherman.

Romualda Gulbiniene

Police have arrested a Bucks County woman in connection with a crash that killed an 82-year-old grandmother earlier this month on Bustleton Avenue in Somerton.

Romualda Gulbiniene, 67, of Richboro, was taken into custody Friday, Dec. 20, and charged with being involved in a fatal accident without a valid license, failing to yield to a pedestrian and careless driving.

Yulia Sherman, who lived on the 300 block of Byberry Road, was crossing Bustleton at Hendrix Street with a cart full of groceries at around 6 p.m. Dec. 12 when she was struck by a vehicle.

Authorities have classified the crash as a hit-and-run, but Gulbiniene’s attorney, Lawrence Bozzelli, said she remained at the scene. 

Gulbiniene stopped, called her grandson and waited with him to speak to officers in the aftermath of the crash, Bozzelli said. He said Gulbiniene’s grandson even found a news clip that allegedly shows the two of them at the scene. Bozzelli seemed baffled by the situation.

“It’s kind of odd,” he told the Times. “I’ve been doing this 20 years as a prosecutor and defense attorney. There’s some questions here.” 

Police are sticking by their original account — that the driver involved in the incident left the scene —  a department spokesman said. 

A day after the crash, Capt. Mark Overwise, of the Accident Investigation Division, held a news conference with Sherman’s daughter and son-in-law near the site of the crash. They pleaded for witnesses to come forward with information to help authorities solve the case.

Sherman immigrated from the Soviet Union in 1978 and soon ingrained herself in Northeast Philadelphia’s Russian community, operating multiple businesses, family members said. She had two children and five grandchildren. ••

Jack Tomczuk can be reached at jtomczuk@newspapermediagroup.com.